Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haunted Hollow

My sister brought her kids down Monday night and we all went to the Haunted Hollow at the park. They had games, food, characters, crafts, pumpkins, face painting, pumpkin drops and all sorts of Halloween fun.

Elena was fearless. The other kids were a little hesitant when Frankenstein came up to hand them candy. Not the baby. Oh no, she was trying to jump out of her stroller to get to him. 

I let her out to walk around a little later and she made a mad dash to the witches at the other side of the park. 

That was pretty much her theme of the night, "I'm free??? WOOOOO I'm going to run as far away from Mommy as I can!!!" And given there were so many people and none of them paying attention to the fact that I am chasing after the baby escaping WAY up ahead, she just kept getting farther and farther ahead. Thank heavens she is still not a master-walker because she'd fall down every few steps and I'd make up some distance that way!

She also had her face painted for the first time. The obsession with that must be genetic or something because she FREAKED out trying to get to the chair and then when I put her in it, she sat very still for the girl to do her face.

They were just kids who were doing the face painting and they were using the acrylic craft paints so that was a little interesting. But the kids loved it.

They got some of those silly vampire teeth and M hasn't been able to part with hers since.  

It did eventually get pretty stinkin' cold but the kids were troopers and had a great time. Even if they did wake up sicker than they already were the next morning....

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Think I Went a Little Crazy

This weekend was pretty lazy and yet really productive. I think I kinda like those types of weekends. There was a lot of cleaning. A lot, a lot. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more.

Get that? LOTS of cleaning. I even did dishes by hand. I *don't do* dishes by hand. And I think I cleaned the toy room at least 847 times. But between the cleaning we did a whole lot of other stuff.

There was pumpkin carving.

And cookie making.

And craft doing.

And treat putting

And to prove to a few people I really did put up some decorations this year, I am documenting that here as well.

Apparently Miss M paid a little too close attention to my pumpkin carving on Friday night. Sunday night, when her little, evil sister destroyed the tent she made in her toy room, her response was, "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!" Which was very much my sentiment at about pumpkin 2. But she had fun digging the guts out and once I was done with the carving and the cussing, they did turn out just fine.

We made sugar cookies from a new recipe I got from a friend. Which was very, very bad because oh they are so very yummy!!!! I planned on bringing them in to work so I wouldn't eat them all. Ummm... they're just about gone anyway. M was very excited about making Jack cookies and very serious about having black frosting for them and orange for the pumpkin. "Get it, Mommy? They have to be right." Yes, ma'am! So it was a trip to Michael's for some black frosting and then a pretty crappy attempt at *creating* some orange from the gels I had in the pantry since they were out of the orange. Next time, I'll just go check another store!

They got to paint some pumpkins in addition to the ones we carved. E got to use Crayola finger paints since I was pretty certain she would just try to eat it. (I was not wrong.) And this year, I went a little nuts and tried some tempura paints for M. The Crayola paints just don't show up well and they don't really dry well either. So they got to go crazy for a bit.

M was doing the cutest little polka dots on her pumpkin but then saw what her sister was doing and decided that was a much better and more fun (and MESSY) idea. So she just slathered it on...

E LOVED it. She had a ball! She poked her fingers in the paint and then tapped them to her pumpkin. Then she just dove right in. She sat there for a good half hour painting her little pumpkin.

This is what happens when you take that pumpkin away from her. She was NOT happy about that part. I went to take it and she snatched it away from me and hugged it up against herself in hopes she could just keep it a little longer. Not a happy baby.

M got to make some cute little Halloween jewelry. She had fun making it but she only wore it for ohh..... ten seconds. It made it's way on to her stuffed dog because "it was scratchy."

But it was really cute while it lasted!

We put together a bunch of treat bags for M's class for their Halloween party on Friday. They turned out really cute. And I thought I had the perfect idea for E's class but then realized what I thought I had bought was not at all what I had bought so now I am back to square one and have no idea what on earth to give to one-year olds that is not homemade. I get that rule, but my, how I hate it. So I made a silly little box to put the suckers in and will probably take them in to work or hand them out for Trick-or-Treating candy. Silly little box, made with all kids are supplies but hey, I was bored.

Somehow, Miss M got it in her head that she had a haunted gingerbread house to make. No idea where she got that idea, we had never even discussed it. But as she was digging candy pieces out of the pantry, I figured we could improvise a little and pretend.

So let's talk about what's going on here...

The Scooby Gang is trying to solve the mystery of the missing Fred. Three Scooby Fruit snack bags and not one Fred. Very concerning.
We've got the little alien and Woody and Jessie getting into some shenanigans on the roof while Buzz is flying off to infinity and beyond.
Tinkerbell and a big ghostie are just hanging out in the sky.
Some BooBerry and Count Chokulas are hanging out in the yard while Mater is parked on the lawn because the Mystery Machine and Lightening McQueen are hogging the driveway.
Then you've got the fish swimming in the river out front of the little licorice house.
All glued down with really melty frosting. The kid was in heaven, I tell yah. And she even got to eat it throughout the day...

And here is the proof I actually put up some decorations this year. It's rare. But it happens.

So all in all, it was a really lazy weekend. But we sure did have a ton of fun!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekend before last we took the girls to Breakfast with a Witch at Gardner Village.  Not only had we never been to the breakfast before, we had never even been to Gardner Village before.  We had no idea what to expect.  So I wasn't entirely surprised when it turned out fantastically. 

Both girls had a riot with the decor and the witches were so over-the-top it was hard not to get into the spirit of things with the kids.  Miss M thought the witches were all so very cool and had to memorize the names of each witch she met and match the witch with her picture on the autograph sheets they handed out to the kids. She is still packing it around asking me to remind her of the names for each one.  Miss E just had a blast getting to run around and jam out to the music they had playing. 

Because we had no idea what to expect, we arrived a bit early and had to kill some time waiting for our seating time.  It wasn't too difficult with being able to entertain the kids with all the Halloween and Fall decor they had around the building.  And, as you can see from E's face, it was pretty easy to keep them happy.

They had a witch come out to greet everyone and welcome us in to the dining hall where they were serving a breakfast buffet. All the food was cleverly renamed into some spooky Halloween-themed description. It was all very yummy. Even the little one enjoyed it... Well, some of it. I think she enjoyed the big chair and the ability to get off more than the actual food.

The girls wandered around and got to meet each of the witches and have their pictures taken with them. Here they are with Mildew Rose.

And with Brazzilla. This was M's favorite witch because she had a big spider pet on a leash. And, of course, she was the flashiest of all the witches. 4-year olds... it's all about the flash.

Here is M giving a hand (and getting one in return!) to Crazy Cora.

After breakfast we decided to wander around Gardner Village and see what was there. Witches everywhere! It was pretty darn cool. Having not been there before, we had to check out the shops as well. We'll definitely go back! Cute stuff!

We weren't very bright and got tickets to the early session for breakfast. Which meant that by the time we were wanting to do anything else, both girls were crabby as could be. And the older one REFUSED to have her picture taken.  Needless to say, way cute picture opportunities but one really grouchy girl in them.

Every once in a while I could sucker a smile out of her. But they were rare. And awfully cheesy when she would...

We kept up with the face-painting theme (meaning the theme to this kid's LIFE!!!!). And she was very proud of her cute, little Halloween kitty. Til she threw a fit a few hours later and cried the whole thing off. Of course.

Even the little monster baby was willing to get in on the witchy fun. If it meant she got to manhandle the shiny, sparkly things.

The one thing I learned from the experience that I will definitely do differently next year is NOT go to the early morning breakfast. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Road Trip (Cuz we're fearless like that!)

A 4-year old and a 1-year old in a car for 12+ hours. Twice. Think we're nuts? So did we but we did it anyway. And you know what? It was awesome!! Both girls did spectacularly for being stuck in their carseats all day for a few days while we drove to Nebraska, drove around Nebraska and then drove home from Nebraska. Dan has family back there so we try to get back to visit every so often. It had been a while (since our move home from VA, actually) and we also discovered their "junk jaunt" that some of our traveling party had great interest in. So we piled in the car, armed with many snacks and endless amounts of movies, and made our way to the mid-west.

Of course, these were the least stressful moments. But the best moments were when they were both awake and giggling at who knows what...

We stopped at Fort Cody Trading Post after breakfast one morning and let the girls run amok in hopes of getting a puppy. What? This is what was posted on their door:
Miss Monster was not a big fan of the giant statues they had in the back but I'm pretty sure she's in the afraid-of-EVERYTHING phase anyway. And she had no problem at all with the two-headed calf (the baby was pretty sure it was just a dog anyway, or so she kept saying over and over and OVER again).
We spent the weekend with family at Cram's Cove and had a very pleasant time. I think it's something about how laid back and kind and generous they are, but something about being with that family makes it the most relaxing and comforting place. It doesn't matter who is coming or going or calling at what hour, you're all family, you're all welcome and we'll take great care of yah! It's not something you get everywhere, or from everyone anymore so it's nice to see a bit of that good friend, good neighbor lifestyle still out there.
The girls both had a great time and, for the most part, were very well-behaved. Miss M learned she is beyond terrified of any and all bugs and Miss E well... she just wanted to walk anywhere and everywhere she could and shove whatever she could find on her way into her mouth.